Canadian manufacturing PMI growth slows, at 9-month low, in Oct

Thu Nov 1, 2012 9:42am EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing growth slowed for a fourth straight month in October and hit a nine-month low, according to data released on Thursday, indicating that the third quarter's underwhelming economic performance may continue into the end of the year.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was 51.39 last month, compared with 52.37 in September. It was the weakest reading since January.

Still, the index was above the 50 mark that separates expansion from deterioration.

"Canadian manufacturing continued to weaken in October, though the PMI measure is still indicative of growth in the sector, which is in contrast to flat to declining activity in most other countries," Craig Wright, chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said in a statement.

The output component of the index saw its smallest month-over-month increases since January. New orders were also weak.

On the upside, faster growth in new export orders helped to offset weak domestic conditions with greater demand in key foreign markets such as Asia and the United States, Canada's largest trading partner.

While employers continued to hire, job creation eased to a six-month low.

Prices for a range of raw materials - including resin, fuel and oil-based products - increased in October. But the rate of input price inflation eased and remained weak compared with the series average.   Continued...